And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Linkee-poo deals the cards as a mediation

Why do clients feel the necessity of dumping everything at noon?

I'm not pointing to this as proof or anything (so far all I've been able to find are whacked out sites with this), but "I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there’s a mountain-sized face on the surface of Antarctica." At the Mountains of Madness, the Ancient Ones lay sleeping. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Ssshhh. "The Boeing-built X-37B space plane commissioned and operated by the U.S. Air Force has now broken its own record for time spent in space. Its latest mission has lasted 719 days as of today, which is one day longer than its last mission, which ended in 2017, as noted by"

"Shortly after 7pm ET (23:00 UTC) SpaceX began counting down to the 100-meter hop test for its Starhopper vehicle. And while there were some definitely rocket-like noises at T-0, the Raptor engine did not ignite." Performance anxiety, happens to all of us.

Remember when Elon Musk said he wanted to develop brain-machine interfaces and everybody went "wow, that's a great idea" and some of us said, "We've been doing that for almost a decade now, Elon"? Whelp. "In Episode 2 of Future You with Elise Hu, we explore mind-controlled robot suits and how they could end some disabilities as we know them or let able-bodied people gain super strength." This is a very rudimentary connection, we do have implantable controllers as well. But there's a problem with those. The body doesn't like the interface and forms "scabs" (slightly different than those that form from cuts on the skin or other solid organs) which decrease the signal transfer until they become unusable (typically after 1 to 2 years).

"Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in July show there were 2.1 million more uninsured people between 2016 and 2018. And a study from the Urban Institute this month, using Census Bureau data, found 700,000 more uninsured people just between 2016 and 2017… The increase is especially noteworthy given the strong economy, signaling the uninsured rate will rise even higher if the economy worsens and people start losing the coverage they get at their jobs." Ah those strong conservative policies are having their effect. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"Health officials said Friday that an Illinois patient who contracted a serious lung disease after vaping has died and that they consider it the first death in the United States linked to the smoking alternative that has become popular with teens and young adults." Well, I'm sure we can wait until there are a few thousand.

"A teen traveling through Southern California may have exposed hundreds of people to the measles when she visited several popular tourist destinations, health officials said Friday." Which wouldn't be a real concern if it weren't for the anti-vax movement.

Rolling along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. "A new species of gigantic tumbleweed once predicted to go extinct is not only here to stay—it's likely to expand its territory."

"KFC is set to serve meatless chicken for the first time — testing the new menu items on Tuesday at a single restaurant location in the Atlanta area."

"An international endangered species convention meeting in Geneva is close to exempting musical instruments from trade restrictions on rosewood." I'm of two thoughts, for existing instruments (and repairing them), this is a fabulous win. Unlike decorative materials people use these objects to make their living. However, allowing this exemption could potentially create a loophole where new instruments are made with rosewood and shipped to new customers.

"'The President had scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India, so a senior member of the Administration attended in his stead,' press secretary Stephanie Grisham said by way of explanation for Trump's absence…" at the G7 meeting on climate change. The problem, both Merkel and Modi attended the meeting on climate change.

"Brazil will reject the offer of $20 million in aid for the Amazon fires pledged at the G7 summit in France, according to news site G1 Globo." Because why wouldn't they.

"Indonesia has said the country would be relocating its capital city, in part because it's sinking into the Java Sea." Jakarta is sinking because of over exploitation of the aquifer it sits on, but other cities are sinking for other reasons. Add sea level rise because of climate change and it becomes a very big problem.

"Police are investigating after a man was found dead in Ashtabula County early Saturday morning, according to the Orwell Police Department." Wait, wut?

"The government started a stockpile of it. Now, helium is essential for space exploration, MRI machines and making our cell phones… But there is a helium shortage." The Planet Money podcast on the helium market.

"(Yesterday), the judge hearing the opioid case brought by Oklahoma against the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson awarded the state roughly $572 million… The fact that the state won any money is significant — it's the first ruling to hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for the opioid crisis… But the state had asked for much more: around $17 billion. The judge found the drugmaker liable for only about 1/30 of that." J&J stock went up after the award because investors are now thinking it won't really affect their dividends even as they face lawsuits in other states. You can see why in their financials. Net income (ie. "profit after expenses") was $15.3 billion last year.

Ah, the joys of the gig economy. "When our ancestors were peasants in the earliest days of agriculture, the daily schedule was: work in field all day, eat midday meal in field, continue working in field… Today, after centuries of human advancement, it goes something like: work in coffee shop all day, buy and each lunch there, continue toiling away on laptop until the sun sets."

"When immigration officials raided a series of food-processing plants in Mississippi on August 7 and arrested close to 700 suspected undocumented immigrants, it was clear that children were left behind without their parents. But, 'If both parents were arrested, one parent was sent home within 24 hours,' a spokesman from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told ABC News… Clearly, that did not happen in at least one case. Two children, ages 12 and 14, were left alone for eight days after both their parents were swept up in the raids." Cruelty is the goal. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Under a new partnership, the Essex County Improvement Authority would funnel $120 million bond to the city of Newark for the sole purpose of replacing the old pipes that are tainting water as it flows from one of the city's main processing plants and into households." Now do Flint.

How go the Trade Wars? "A bill would forbid the use of federal grants, which the Department of Transportation often makes to big-city transit authorities, to buy new subway trains or buses from the Chinese-owned manufacturer CRRC." Note, this will affect American jobs.

"When the White House decided to levy tariffs on goods from China, U.S. leaders were divided on whether a prolonged trade dispute was a wise course of action… Now, so is Beijing." So nobody knows what they're doing. Great.

"Agents in Long Beach intercepted three shipments containing nearly 53,000 sights, stocks and other gun parts that came illegally from China." Huhn. Okay.

"A Chinese-born Australian writer detained for months in China has been formally arrested on charges of espionage, officials in Canberra confirmed on Tuesday." It's not just us. You have to watch the entire board.

How goes Brexit? "'The job of everybody in Parliament' is to deliver Brexit, the PM has said at the end of the G7 summit in France." This next is said in the voice of Auric Goldfinger, "No, Mr. Johnson, I expect you to do your job."

"Jeremy Corbyn has met other opposition party leaders to discuss ways of averting a no-deal Brexit."

On the Media continue to explore the stories we Americans tell ourselves. "In a special hour this week, On the Media examines the history of US imperialism — and why the familiar US map hides the true story of our country. Brooke spends the hour with Northwestern University historian Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States." Why does the rest of the world hate the US?

"Violence in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests is becoming more serious but the government is confident it can handle the crisis itself, the embattled leader of the former British colony said on Tuesday."

"U.S. officials deported Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Tyre, Lebanon, Friday night shortly after he arrived at Boston Logan International Airport. Before canceling Ajjawi’s visa, immigration officers subjected him to hours of questioning — at one point leaving to search his phone and computer — according to a written statement by Ajjawi." Because he follows people who are "critical" of the US.

"Iran on Monday announced that the 2.1 million barrels of crude aboard an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. has been sold to an unnamed buyer as the ship, at the center of a crisis roiling the region, continued its voyage in the Mediterranean Sea."

"A day after what looked like a possible diplomatic breakthrough with the U.S., Iranian President Hassan Rouhani backed off the idea of direct talks with President Trump, saying Washington must first lift sanctions against Tehran." Uh oh, looks like someone read the president's book on the art of a deal.

"In the latest indication that it may be readying an attempt to launch another space rocket, Iran has given its launch pad a fresh coat of paint."

"Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy announced on Monday that he’s resigning from Congress on Sept. 23 because a baby he and his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy are expecting in October will have complications, including a heart condition." While I don't wish it on anyone, it's refreshing to see someone resigning to spend more time with their family actually needing to spend more time with their family.

"Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clinton email case may not really be settled." Once more unto the breach, dear friends. This is a political hit piece and one of the reasons I don't like using "The Hill" as a source. "OMG the person responsible to prosecutions wanted to prosecute Clinton before they had a report, the report was revised to use language with isn't indicting, and there are pieces of classified information we don't have!" they shout breathlessly. All of this was known before. Memos are often written this way. It's the person's job to prosecute, of course they'd want to actually, you know, prosecute. And the classified information is most likely the actual information in the email. This is a big nothing burger except to get the crowds to shout, "Lock her up" and reignite the "but her emails" memes. Welcome to 2020, same as 2016. Given the political makeup of 2017, if this had any real relevancy it would have been acted on then.

"Democrats hoping to avoid clashes over impeachment when they left Washington this summer are being confronted with a difficult reality at sometimes hostile town hall events" Oh look, some people actually did read the report.

It might also be a good time to remind people that the Russian actors who helped the president win last time are not wedded to his re-election. They weren't wedded to his initial election. Those are not the end goals (although having him in power is better for their goals than having Clinton in office). The end goal is to destabilize the West to remove any opposition to a resurgent Russia. Their actions in the last election would have moved the needle no matter who won (and I suspect there was plenty of "plan B-Z" strategizing). They will tear down Trump if they feel it would meet the objective of chaos in American politics. They will attempt to divide us. While I haven't seen their fingerprints on the move to impeach, that may just be because I haven't looked in the right place yet or they're holding fire until after (or just closer to) November 2020. Waves to my Russian friends.

"The head of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, has a catchphrase: 'persistent engagement.'" But don't tell anyone.

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